Dunston Hall Norwich

Dunston Hall, Norwich


The worst Christmas experience, despite complaining, and leaving 2 messages, no one has bothered to call us back

We booked a 2 night break for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. With us was my 89 old mother. We had 2 rooms, a Suite and a double. We booked the intimate and elegant package in the Fontaine Restaurant.

Upon arrival, we were supposed to be greeted by Mulled Wine, Mince pies and canapés. What actually greeted us was dirty reception desk with empty mince pie wrappers, a few dried up mince pies, and lukewarm mulled wine. It looked as though a herd of elephants had been through. We checked in and went straight for a pre-booked treatment in the spa which was fine. When we got to the suite all the glasses were dirty, we rang room service and nobody answered the phone, indeed that line was not answered throughout the whole stay. We then rang reception who said they would contact the bar and send some to the room. After a 55 minute wait, nobody had appeared so we rang reception again, they apologized and the receptionist appeared 10 minutes later apologizing. We had asked for ice, but this had been forgotten.

We then went to dinner that evening which was a joke. It seems this a la carte restaurant is only open certain times a year. So no specific chefs team that are a la carte trained, or so it would seem. We had to order all courses at the same time, even the dessert, the waiter said it would help the kitchen!

There was no wine waiter and after opening the wine, it was never topped up by any member of staff. My mother ordered pork and couldn’t even get the knife through it as it was so tough. We asked for a steak knife but that didn’t help. The best part of the meal was the sorbet. The other thing I haven’t mentioned is that the plates hadn’t been cleared before the next course arrived, then the next course took 30 minutes to arrive. It was a shambles. We called it faulty towers!

Breakfast the next day was ok. Christmas lunch however was disgusting. The main course arrived, black sprouts, dry Turkey, wafer thin, all served in a bowl. It was a joke. All 3 meals were the same. We sent the meal back and the restaurant manager, apologized and said it will 3 or 4 minutes for another meal, it was obviously being heated and brought from the other kitchen in the hotel. What appeared next was the same but with green sprouts. My poor mother by this point had lost her appetite and was very upset. We went to reception to make a complaint and asked to see a manager. Nobody appeared. When we went for a buffet in the evening, the only thing my Mother had was a fresh fruit salad. That was all she had all day apart from breakfast, remember this was Christmas Day! The buffet was horrendous, no salad, just cold meat and pastry, a stroganoff with no rice, not a balanced meal available. We asked for a pickle of some kind to go with the meats and the kitchen had nothing. The food and beverage manager came to see us after dinner and I explained the whole episode. She said someone would contact us before we left the next day, guess what no one did! When we checked out I asked a manager to call me that afternoon. They did, and I explained everything, the guy was very apologetic and said he needed to talk to the hotel manager who was not going to be around for him to see for 2 days. I said I understood the complaint needed to be discussed and would wait for a call back 2 days later, guess what, no one called me. Seething I called reception A further 2 days later and asked to speak to the hotel manager and reception said he had just left but they would email him straight away to ask him to call me the next day. Guess what no one has called me.

This is the last resort before I email the managing director of Q hotels. The general manager that replies to all trip advisor reviews, who was on a 2 week holiday over Christmas, can you please ring me to discuss this appalling stay, spoilt Christmas and complete lack of service and respect for your customers.

We loved Dunston hall and had a big birthday bash in the marque 10 years ago, which was fantastic. We have used the hotel in the past and have been very happy. We haven’t been for a number of years and boy has it gone downhill. Don’t bother, because if you do have a problem nobody calls you back.